Wikibooks:Reading room/Proposals

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Welcome to the Proposals reading room. On this page, Wikibookians are free to talk about suggestions for improving Wikibooks.


Now under construction: Wikibooks Stacks[edit]

As part of the infrastructure overhaul I've been doing for, at this writing, just over 23 months, and following from the previous discussion here in the ongoing series of threads (link), I'm now developing a replacement for the current subject hierarchy, in the form of a book called Wikibooks Stacks.

I'm not currently asking for help with this, tbh. Somewhat embarrassingly, given the collaborative nature of wikis, just atm I really need to do this carefully, step by step, myself, because there's still new design work involved at each step. But I do want to let everyone know what I'm doing, and perhaps folks here will offer advice (or point out that I'm making a huge mistake somewhere!).

When I'm all done, all our 3000-or-so books will be filed in both the "old" subject hierarchy and the "new" stacks, and I'll be able to do the equivalent of flipping one of those big high-voltage switches and suddenly the categories visible on each book main page will be shelves instead of subjects, and then I can start the process of carefully mothballing the old subject pages, one by one. Then it'll be time to start in earnest on the final(?) stage of this multi-year overhaul of our infrastructure, the introduction of topical categories that list pages as well as books, which will enable us to provide much better targets for incoming links from sister projects, including from Wikipedia.

Grouping all of this machinery in a book is more convenient, organizationally, than the Subject: namespace, as it happens. The new pages, equivalent to subjects, have name prefix Shelf: or, at the top level, Department:, which are not recognized by the wiki platform as namespace prefixes, so these pages are all technically in mainspace, as is the book. Our infrastructure templates such as {{BookCat}} and {{BOOKNAME}} know to associate these name prefixes with book Wikibooks Stacks, which is convenient because most of the pages involved don't have to have the name of the book built into them at all, they can just use markup {{BOOKNAME|Shelf:}} (which expands to Wikibooks Stacks). Shelves correspond to subjects that use {{subject page}}, departments to subjects that use {{root subject}}.

There are shelf categories, each with an associated allbooks category, just as there are subject categories with associated allbooks categories. When I set up the machinery of the subject hierarchy, I arranged that when any of the pages involved detected a problem, it would flag it out, and provide buttons to help a human operator implement likely actions to fix it. This time around, I've made some improvements to this semi-automation while I was about it.

I also very much want to arrange for dialog-based assistants to replace the older-style editing buttons (with the older-style buttons reappearing if the dialog tools are not detected — thus, graceful degradation when things aren't working right). This would be very cutting-edge use of the dialog tools, and I very much want to learn as much as I can from the experience, about how to make effective use of the dialog tools. Which is actually part of what's holding me up just atm: I could be marching forward with setting up shelves, but then I'd be missing out on this major opportunity to gain experience with dialog. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 19:51, 3 June 2018 (UTC)

Progress report: All our books have been shelved; they're also all listed in subjects. The shelf categories are hidden, the subject categories are visible; but I'm now in a position to switch that, so the shelf categories are visible and the subject categories hidden. Then I can start shutting down the subjects, which also has to be done manually. Strangely, I've got a discrepancy between the number of shelves and the number of subjects, whose cause should eventually come out during the manual shutdown. I'm not sure what to do about possible incoming links to subject pages that are now going to be either nonexistant or redirects. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 02:26, 29 September 2018 (UTC)
Cheers for all the work you have made already. I noticed two things which I'm not sure whether they are glitches or not: 1) Departments do not list any featured books. 2) Under Wikibooks Stacks/Departments the Wikijunior department correctly lists the Wikijunior shelf, but the Help department does not list the Help shelf. -- Vito F. (discuss) 23:46, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
On the second point, actually the link provided is to the help shelf, rather than to the help department. I'm unsure whether that should be treated differently, or if instead the wikijunior department should be treated differently. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 04:03, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I think I've got the department featured books problem fixed. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 06:43, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I've improved both of those displays on the departments page. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:44, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
Update: My progress on this is currently mired in the various pages associated with quality as assigned by various "WikiProjects". That part of our infrastructure was imported by Adrignola and adapted for Wikibooks —mainly by adding support for Subject pages— back in 2010; it isn't heavily used, but wants updating to support the rearrangement; except that frankly I find its internal design largely indecipherable. How Adrignola figured it out to make changes then, I find hard to imagine, and it's worse now with existing use of the Subject-based version to accommodate. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 13:28, 22 January 2019 (UTC)
Still mired. --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 21:14, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

A New Recommender System For Wikibooks (can be extended to WikiMedia in general)[edit]

I created a phabricator task for the proposal to improve the existing recommender system used by WikiMedia as a project for GSoC 19 and a mentor asked me to share my proposal here. My proposal includes the followinng tasks:

  • Making a form at the end of each article, so that user can tell if he liked the article or not (maybe star based system) and the categories he wants to tag the article with.
  • Based on this star based system, and the tags provided by users, it will learn new categories for the article.
  • It will recommend new articles, after some time of learning, to users based on their previous activity, in parallel to present system based on edits made by users.
  • learning similarity between different users based on their interests and then it will try to suggest discussion pages where they can discuss similar ideas.

following is the idea on which the proposal is based: “Some people use Wikimedia to gain knowledge rather than making edits and improving what already exists.”

My idea of recommender system serves people who surf Wikimedia to learn new things along with those who know a particular topic and mostly visit articles surrounding that topic only and it will help people to discover new people who are interested in similar topics and in this way we can become part of larger group dynamics and discussions.

Current recommender system:
The current recommender system is mostly based on the edits made by the user. So, this method doesn’t serve those who want to learn new things and have no prior knowledge about the articles they want to visit.
The second method on which current recommender system works is by user providing their interests.
In the current recommender system, there is no way by which the system can learn new categories that should be assigned to the page and which may be skipped out by the person who has tagged the article with categories.
New idea of recommender system:
This recommender system learns categories liked by new users. The recommender system suggests new articles to users based on these categories assigned to new users.
It will also learn categories to be assigned to new articles based on the ratings given by old user.
It will adapt to changes in interests of users. If a user is interested in new type of categories, it will change the categories assigned to user automatically.
We can also add a feature that helps a user assign new categories to articles. This will help us to track user’s interests and change categories liked by him accordingly and it will help learning the categories of articles easily. This will also help us to tackle the emergence of new categories.
By knowing similarities between users, we can make them part of larger discussions.
Also, we can ask new users about their fields of interest and show initial results (results before learning) accordingly.
This recommender system can run in parallel to the old one. So, some of the suggestions will be based on this system and others will be given by old one.

(User:Chaitanya kharyaldiscuss) 18:09, 17 February 2019 (UTC)

Multilingual Shared Templates and Modules[edit]

Hello en-wiki community!

I recently organized a project to share templates and modules between wiki projects and languages. It allows modules and templates to be “language-neutral”, and store all text translations on Commons. This means that it is enough to copy/paste a template without any changes, and update the translations separately. If someone fixes a bug or adds a new feature in the original module, you can copy/paste it again without any translation work. My bot DiBabelYurikBot can help with copying. This way users can spend more time on content, and less time on updating and copying templates. Please see project page for details and ask questions on talk page.

P.S. I am currently running for the Wikimedia board, focusing on content and support of multi-language communities. If you liked my projects like maps, graphs, or this one, I will be happy to receive your support. (any registered user group can vote). Thank you! --Yurik (🗨️) 04:06, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
(Aside: One wonders whether "en-wiki" is being used to mean all English wikimedia sisters (which would be refreshing).) --Pi zero (discusscontribs) 12:59, 12 May 2019 (UTC)
(hehe, Pi zero, I was thinking the same thing when writing it -- at first I wanted to do a longer en-wikibooks but then thought it would be fairer to just call everyone a wiki :) --Yurik (discusscontribs) 16:59, 12 May 2019 (UTC))